Donatello, a poem

Donatello sits atop a box,
A box of toys you haven’t touched in years.
He mutely wonders where you’ve gone and why
You never play with him anymore.
Donatello was always your favorite one.
He cannot know his favorite little boy
Has ripened into a man, a soldier marching
Down the blood soaked, ancient road of war.
The plastic guns exchanged for ones that kill.
The childish games replaced with grown up death.
Once you were a blond haired, blue eyed boy,
My mind still echoes with your childish laughter.
Now the black robed reaper stalks your dreams;
Twenty one black bells toll for your innocence.
And when I see your sad visage I wonder:
Do you miss your playmate Donatello
As much as I miss the happy little boy?

-Stephen P. Smith

18 Responses to “Donatello, a poem”

  1. 1 Red
    March 12, 2008 at 4:21 pm

    Oh, he was the best!
    Seriously though, your son has an amazing father, just as you have an amazing son.

    Thanks, Red! That means a lot coming from you!


  2. March 13, 2008 at 1:31 am

    I’m blown away. Sobering even.

    Thank you! I’m glad you liked it.


  3. March 14, 2008 at 12:48 am

    Would comment on this one, but after dealing with ‘Some Wore Green’, I’ll have to get back to this one with a fresh mind.
    Happy Friday and thanks for another poem.

    My pleasure!


  4. 4 alison
    March 14, 2008 at 2:06 am

    Stephen!!!! I love it!!! Damn me. I knew if I read it tonight I would be second guessing my own thoughts. What a fun tag, huh? This is brilliant. And your son is very blessed to have you.

    Got the email — YAY. The editor will contact you 😉

    My heavens, Ali! If I can get you second guessing yourself, then that is indeed an accomplishment! As always, thank you for your kind words!


  5. March 14, 2008 at 8:07 am

    So glad you joined the tag!!
    I love the way you take something like
    a child’s toy to really drive home the lasting
    effects of war and a loss of innocence.
    Great job.
    Will you mind if I repost it with the others?

    Thanks for those kind words, and yes, by all means, feel free to repost it.


  6. March 15, 2008 at 10:37 pm

    I’ve been by several times and then something always happens before I can get my comment made.

    I can’t remember if my son had a favorite turtle; but I did make several colored head bands for the boys at his birthday party one year.

    Yeah, those turtles were pretty popular!


  7. March 16, 2008 at 10:49 pm

    Donatello was my favorite too. I don’t know if you meant to do this but there’s a nice wordplay with the word “playmate” as a toy can be a playmate and I believe the company that made the TMNT toys was called “Playmates.” A very moving poem

    I’m glad you found it so. Thanks so much for stopping by!


  8. 8 brendan smith
    March 16, 2008 at 11:57 pm

    thanks dad i love you.

    me too, kid, me too.


  9. 9 tania michelle
    March 17, 2008 at 12:01 am

    hey there, i loved this poem its very touching, ur great!!!


  10. 10 Andy C.
    March 17, 2008 at 7:24 pm

    Incredible. Loved the transition and reference from youth to adulthood, from playthings to life-ending things. Incredible span of time in such a short and precise poem. Thanks again for treating us all with another mind provoking read.

    Hey, Andy! Thanks for stopping by! And thank you for the kind words. I’m glad you enjoyed it.


  11. March 18, 2008 at 1:11 am

    I loved your poem. I’m glad you stopped by my blog otherwise I wouldn’t have gotten to read it. My son was the blond blue eyed boy who then became a heroin addict. Fortunately he has been clean for three years. He had to leave his hometown to stay clean. I still have his favorite stuffed animal in my room to remind me of that sweet innocent boy.

    Thanks for stopping by and leaving those kind words. And best of luck to you and your son.


  12. March 18, 2008 at 5:12 pm

    whilst i enjoyed the poem no end, i’ll admit to being particularly moved by brendan’s comment smith..nice to come across a young man not scared to put his feelings out in a public forum…you must have done something right…

    Well, I don’t know how much credit actually belongs to me, but yes, he has grown up into a fine young man.

  13. March 18, 2008 at 7:28 pm

    Wow this reminds me of my childhood. Nice poem there 🙂


    Thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed it!

  14. March 20, 2008 at 5:38 am

    I remember Donatello being the intellectual or genius among the four characters. Your son must have been a very smart kid to have chosen him as a favorite. 😉 I am, in all sincerity, moved by the poem, by your bond with your son, and by his comment above. (sniff) To be able to put that bond into words with much clarity, with effective contrasts, and extending it to what’s going on with the world — now that is truly impressive. 😉 Cheers.

    Thank you for those kind words. Yes, I do think this was one of my better efforts. I’m glad you see you feel the same way. Thanks for stopping by!

  15. 15 ~m
    March 21, 2008 at 8:40 pm

    I wanted to mention Brendan’s comment as well. Kinda gets you right ‘there’, ya know?
    I’m left wondering how much the Ninja Turtle actually misses the little boy.
    Poignant. Sad. True. Such is life . . . sometimes.
    Nice job, Jelly Roll . . . :mrgreen:

    Thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed it.

    *Mikey was always my favorite. Go figure.

    Oh, now THERE’S a surprise. 😉

  16. April 1, 2008 at 7:55 pm

    A belated thank you to all who left a comment here. Your comments mean a great deal to me.


  17. April 2, 2008 at 10:08 am

    I read this poem a couple weeks back and had to step away. You have captured my yearning to give back a bit of the childhood innocence that will never again shine in my son’s eyes. *sigh*

    It’s a yearning that never goes away. Heck, I’m 46 years old and my mother still has it. Is your son back yet? I hope he’s doing well. Thanks for stopping by.


  18. August 6, 2008 at 4:35 pm

    “Childish games replaced with grown up death” that line really got me. It must be brutal for any parent in this situation. I can’t imagine it.

    No one can imagine it who hasn’t gone through it. Every time you hear or read news of a soldier getting killed over there you think the worst; you just can’t help it. The fact that they impose a communications blackout makes it even worse; he couldn’t even call me to let me know he was ok. After awhile you just get numb to it.

    Then he came home, which was wonderful, but also brought with it new challenges as well. Thanks for stopping by, Sarah.


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